Kentucky Reckless Driving Laws

The state of Kentucky imposes a general reckless driving law, which requires safe operation of a motor vehicle by a driver. Violation of these and other driving laws related to reckless driving in Kentucky carry the potential of criminal penalties, as well as administrative action affecting a driver's license.

Defining Reckless Driving in Kentucky

The state of Kentucky defines reckless driving as a violation of statute section 189.290, which mandates that a driver must operate a vehicle carefully, with consideration of the safety of other drivers, passengers and pedestrians. Certain offenses in violation of these laws, such as racing on a public roadway, are codified as separate criminal driving offenses under Kentucky law.

Reckless Driving Penalties in Kentucky



Criminal Penalties

Points Applied to License

Other Administrative Penalties

Reckless Driving


Incarceration possible, case-specific length


Possible license suspension up to 90 days

Impact on Your Driver's License

Conviction of reckless driving in Kentucky carries the potential of a license suspension for 90 days. This can be mitigated somewhat, as Kentucky does provide for hardship licenses. The 4 points incurred from a reckless driving charge will remain active on a driver's license for a period of two years from the date of conviction. The Kentucky Division of Driver Licensing employs a point policy that commences administrative action on a driver's license upon accumulation of 12 or more points within a two-year period. However, administrative action upon receipt of 12 points does not mandate a license suspension. Drivers are allowed to reduce point totals once annually through traffic schools in Kentucky.

Dealing with a Reckless Driving Charge in Kentucky

Addressing the reckless driving charge, both the criminal and administrative aspects, will require the intervention of legal counsel into the criminal proceedings. In most cases, drivers are able to obtain a favorable plea option, which reduces the reckless driving citation to a lesser offense, likely one of a non-criminal nature. However, the past history of an offender, both criminal and driver history, will dictate the availability of plea options in reckless driving cases.

When to Get a Lawyer

Given the long-term ramifications of a criminal conviction, as well as the potential short-term penalties faced, seeking legal counsel is advisable. In light of the relatively vague nature of the law in Kentucky, as well as the relative success that Kentucky reckless driving lawyers have in obtaining favorable plea options, a driver should seek legal counsel for the easiest resolution to their pending case.

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